1 EAGLETON NOTES: A Car's a Car For A' That

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Thursday, 27 July 2017

A Car's a Car For A' That

(With apologies to Robert Burns).

I’m sure it’s not that I just can’t forgive myself for parting from my beloved Nighthawk. I’m sure that I’m sure - surely.

I just haven't become close to the Volvo yet. Why on earth would that matter? It’s a car for heaven’s sake not a friend. However I spend more time with it than I do with almost any other thing with which I have a relationship except my home.

My first Volvo was, in fact, called VOOVO. The car had been incorrectly badged on the bonnet (hood) because the letters were, as on my current car's boot (trunk) separately attached. That car was made in 1965 and I’m sure no such thing could happen now. We were together for 80,000 glorious miles. I’ve had two more Volvos since that time. Each served me well.

Voovo on Honister, English Lake District,  c 1970 with my Dad
I want to get close to Volvo. I really do. It’s a very comfy means of transportation and we’ve already done 4,000 miles together in two months.

One problem is that the salesman (in the London dealer from whence the car was sourced) and I really didn’t get on. I never met him but I know that if I had I’d not have bought a car from him.

The other is that the car was beset by vibration squeaks and rattles from the dashboard area. The technician (mechanic to people of my age but now he probably has a degree in applied electronics) at the superbly helpful Volvo dealer Taggarts in Glasgow  sorted the first one I identified in the sensor housing on the windscreen which had obviously been removed at some time but that still left some more in the floating centre console. I never had a squeak from the Nighthawk in 13 years (except one of my own making). I seem now to have managed to cure them all but I am still living with the fear that they may return.

Hopefully in a while I'll feel comfortable and Volvo and she will develop a personality and acquire a name.

Volvo below The Clisham on Harris
Volvo by the Forth and Clyde Canal

20 comments:

  1. She's a beauty! I like the name Harriet, Hazel or VeraVoo. You'll chose a name you know is right. Talk to the engine in a friendly way, have a bonding moment. It helped me get use to a car I didn't shine to right away.
    I love the photo of the Voovo and your Dad.

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    1. Thank you Maywyn. Perhaps unexpectedly I rather like the names you've suggested. Harriet the Charriot perhaps. Hazel is just a loveLy name and VeraVoo is suitably whacky and unusual. Who knows.

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  2. Sharp lookin car. People who buy volvos tend to stay with them.

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  3. People indeed tend to stay with Volvos ... I have my dear Vintage Volvo, circa 1994, parked here beside my newer 2013 Volvo with which, by-the-way, I still haven't developed a warm bond. Victoria, the Vintage Volvo, and I had a lovely cross-country adventure driving from Florida to California ... maybe that is key.

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    1. Jill I lknow you love your original Volvo. My favourite of the volvos was definitely the Voovo. I'm growing to like the latest one and she is very comfortable. Florida to California is certainly a good way to get acquainted. I think the fact that Volvo and I have done 4000 miles together and mostly in the last month have brought us closer together.

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  4. All cars are fine as long as they work. My oldest son is with us at the moment and his big, flashy, expensive, Merc' broke down en route. It will be repatriated next week, and he will fly home. I'll stick with my Compact Royce (Peugeot).

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    1. Cro you uttered words of wisdom. If it doesn't work then it has no place in a life that does frequent long journeys or where everyday life is dependent upon it.

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  5. I like the Amazon if it is one. My father had several battered 240 series estates. Horrible heavy tanks they were.
    The new wheels look very swish. Folk will be bowing and curtsying, doffing their bunnets as you drive past.

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    1. Adrian I had a 240 estate and it was a tank but it regularly drove between Lewis and Berlin with my wife and I and two young children and never complained. The new car is perfectly ordinary but, oddly, a neighbour made the same comment yesterday morning. Very odd. It must be the colour.

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  6. She's very snazzy and looks like a "Veronica" to me !!

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    1. Helsie, Veronica is not, I confess, a name that immediately springs into my mind nor rolls off my tongue in relation to a car.

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  7. You can't force these things, can you. I felt terrible when my faithful, filthy, dented Ford Ka went to the great scrap heap in the sky. It had ploughed through mud and carted messy horse stuff to and for years, and never let me down. Newer cars I find hard to relate to. I have no feelings at all for our newer (but not new) Audi, whereas the tatty Skoda which does the horse job now is wonderful, dents and all. I think someone once kicked it ( you can see the foot shaped dent) just because it's a Skoda. Good luck with Volvo. May you bond soon, Graham.

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    1. Thank you Frances. I think we're getting closer.

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  8. She seems low slung and could easily bottom out on those humpy bumpy lanes of Ross and Cromarty. As she is a Swede you could call her Turnip. To improve your bond with her try applying some wax and then buff her up quite vigorously for half an hour or so.

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    1. Oh dear YP what a sense of humour you have. Mind you having driven round various cities over the last month with all their potholes it was a joy to get back to the relatively smooth roads of the Highlands and Islands.

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  9. I have never named a car but I have bonded with many. I'm currently driving a 1995 Mercedes A140, it has always been boring but now it has some kind of problem which hasn't been diagnosed, we would need to pull the trans out and it's not worth the labour cost so I keep driving the highly impaired thing.

    Your volvo needs some (silent) scrapes or quirks to individualise it, then you could love it for the good bits

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    1. Kylie I just want her to be a close and faithful and reliable companion and then I'm sure I'll fall in love. The thing about the Nighthawk was that we gelled from day one and were together for 13 years when I wasn't off with my other love ('The Handbag') in New Zealand for 6 months every year.

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  10. I'd call her "Cinnamon Girl". She's sleek, sexy, and the right color! You will bond - just give it time. Even the quirks will become endearing, eventually.

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    1. Mrs S she's more a flamenco red than cinnamon and, unfortunately, I'm a chocolate on my cappuccino not a cinnamon person. I'm happy with endearing quirks but the squeaks and rattles were definitely not endearing, However, touch wood, they all seem to have disappeared. We are getting along better every day.

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